Dearest December Bunnies,
I hope that these love notes find you well, that you are warm tonight and only a little tired. The kind of tired that comes from spending the day doing what you love, being of good use, being a good friend, or redefining goodness altogether. And, if you are not tired but weary, if you are in bed right now wondering if you have wasted your life, my heart. If you feel the core of you push up against whatever you thought goodness was and feel nothing, next to nothing, keep pushing anyway. Just so you don’t forget the gestures. This is how we learn to return to ourselves.
When I was a teenage girl who loved another teenage girl, she would tell me often that there is nothing lost in this world. I try to remember that when I think of the people I love who no longer walk on this side of the veil, I try to remember that when my shoes get heavy with the grief of this country.
Once there was a hedgehog and he lost his jam, a wild dog brought it back to him. Once there was a hedgehog lost in a thick white fog, a voice said “Trust me, I will carry you down the river where the juniper twigs burn and your best friend is waiting for you.” Once there was a hedgehog who found his way back to his twinheart. His twinheart shouted “What has taken you so long? Who would I count stars with if not you?”
With Perfect Trust,
P.S. Thank you to every single dyke, queer, lone wolf who has taught me how to love this hard.
P.P.S. If ever you want to support these horoscopes, you can paypal me donations! A little bit is still some sugar. Pay Pal
Savanah Banana the dog, covered in rabbit light
In her poem, “On Old Ideas,” Dorothea Lasky (Aries) writes: There are old plans now that should be new. / There are old thoughts in your head, my reader, and let them die. / Follow me, I am the crusader of the new.
It’s hard to build a new dream, even harder to pursue one, what with the tricky nature of dreams—how they wear the Cloak of the Almost Impossible, how they lie just beyond the Mountain of Great Challenges. But, Aries, is there really any mountain high enough to keep you from moving toward your deepest desires? You are the Fool and the Emperor. You have it in you to dream a better world into being then command the making of that world. Follow me, you cry as you move courageously forward, I am the crusader of the new.
Now that this year is closing, take time to look at the path you’ve blazed to get this far. If there have been sacrifices, if there has been love lost, then honor whatever you’ve let go so that you might go on. Sometimes having a child’s heart means holding a love so pure it is barely meant for this world. Sometimes being a great warrior means losing with grace, with gratitude for what that loss has taught you.
I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, and thinking about you, how much an object of good quality can move you, that golden turtle you never bought, each G-dragon music video, the perfect curtains. And, I’ve been thinking about the people in your life. How I hope they feel lucky, like I do, because your love is generous and forgiving, because your love is a room full of people trying their best to be their truest selves.
“Every object has a different role to play. Not all clothes have come to you to be worn threadbare. It is the same with people. Not every person you meet in life will become a close friend or lover,” Marie writes. “Some you will find hard to get along with or impossible to like. But these people, too, teach you the precious lesson of who you do like, so that you will appreciate those special people even more.”
Taurus, as your year comes to a close, imagine what it might mean to tidy up your emotional life. Let go of what makes you feel less than you are, make time for the ones that give you sparks of joy, the ones who see you. There are few better feelings in this world than being seen and you, my love, deserve to feel very very good.
A couple years ago, I met a Gemini witch, a poetess. Diane Seuss. She had ink black hair and a generous eye. Under her mischievous gaze, my words rose up from the page and re-arranged themselves. Lines spread their legs across large white space; whole lyric sections kissed passionately and broke up so that they might stand more powerfully on their own. In understanding my language, she spoke a love I could understand. We breakfast covened over avocado sandwiches and poached eggs, and it seemed like she deeply cared for every single woman at the table—even the ones whose names she barely knew. Come visit me anytime, she said, showing us pictures of an animal more fur than dog that would welcome us as well.
In a poem called “Song of My Heart,” she writes her first line: If there’s pee on the seat it’s my pee.
I think about this poem all the time, about the way it approaches solitude like a conquest. Yes, this is my kingdom, my body and all I own—it’s glory and squalor.
Gemini, how do you approach your solitude? Do you fortify with empathic friendships? When you drag your body to the edge of a dark wood, do you want for company, for companions who carry the light with you? Then call your friends and lovers by their true names, Gemini, illuminate their strengths and let them strengthen you in turn.
There’s an old Russian song my father used to sing to himself. I get it stuck in my head sometimes when I think of him. It begins simple enough: You are my breath, / my early morning, / you’re the scorching sun / and rain. But then, it turns: I will torture myself / and become the very best, / for this very reason you / should stick around.
It’s a beautiful song, written by an Aquarius named Ada Yakusheva in what must have been the 60’s (although dates are unclear). Despite the Aquarian source, I can’t help but think of you, Cancer, when I hear this song. There’s something so determined about it, so clear-hearted and sure. For the one you love, for the community you have built, for your family, you will burn down the house of yourself and build a castle in its place.
On the 25th of this month, when the moon is full in Cancer and your heart is full with everything that you know to be true about yourself, your resilience, imagine that this is a song Ada wrote for herself, rather than for a lover she hoped would love her. Imagine this is song to your health, your incredible body, and your magnificent mind. Ты моя мелодия, ты – вроде ты и вроде я. Мой маяк у вечности на краю. You are my melody/ You are you but you’re also me/ my lighthouse at the edge of eternity.
When I was in grade school, I was in love with a collection of poems by Maya Angelou. I read them everyday, I stole the book from my library. I was mesmerized by the clarity of her voice, by the mere suggestion that a woman could dance like she had diamonds between her thighs.
Despite my attachment to the poetic image, to the first words she entered into my poetic memory, the words I carry with me to this day are not from any of her poems. They come, instead, from an interview with Oprah. Oprah looks to Maya, prompting her, “…one of the most important lessons I ever learned from you…when people show you who they are, believe them.”
Sometimes it’s hard for a Leo to follow this advice, no matter how simple it sounds. You want to believe the best in everyone, to push them forward, to raise them up. It might be useful to remember that in a pride, the weakest are sometimes left behind for the sake of the strong. Sweet lion, I’m not suggesting you abandon those you love. Rather, I’m encouraging you to take note of those you spend time holding up, tending to, and carrying through. Don’t let your care for others be an excuse that keeps you from thriving.
Recently, Pen America featured an illustrated blog post by cartoonist Robert Kirby. In the “The Virgo Thing,” Kirby explores the different ways Virgos are characterized and which descriptions resonate with him personally. After claiming the idea that Virgo’s motto is “I Analyze,” Kirby writes, “It’s much easier, however, to examine aesthetics than it is to examine emotions.”
But, what does it mean to examine aesthetics? Should you shift into the hedonistic pleasure of language and all its abstractions, read more Barthes, buy a fall jacket come January just for the faux fur trim? Maybe. Would that be so wrong? Don’t you think you deserve something lovely for no reason at all? Don’t you think you’ve worked hard to get where you are?
It’s easy, isn’t it Virgo, to imagine oneself constantly at the bottom of the wheel—running in place and looking ever forward. But the truth is, these past few months have been kind to you, given you space to grow and flourish, to imagine all the different ways you can embody your very best self. That kind of loving attention from the universe has the power to teach you a great deal about emotional strength—how to see it in yourself and inspire it in others. Look out to the generous world, Virgo, acknowledge that love comes.
We’re in a bookstore called unnamable books and you say you want more poetry in your life so I shove Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely in your hands. I flip it open to my favorite page, say this one:
“Forgiveness, I finally decide, is not the death of amnesia, nor is it a form of madness, as Derrida claims. For the one who forgives, it is simply a death, a dying down in the heart, the position of the already dead. It is in the end the living through, the understanding that this has happened, is happening, happens. Period. It is a feeling of nothingness that cannot be communicated to another, an absence, a bottomless vacancy held by the living, beyond all that is hated or loved.”
I don’t agree, you remark, but you hold the book reverently with both hands and continue on. Then, as if compelled by a saint that lives inside you (a saint the way Libra Hannah Arendt might have been—imperfect, trying), you looked up at me and say calmly I love forgiveness, it’s important to forgive as much as you can. We go down the rows, fiction, non-fiction, we stand on opposite sides of each book. You say Maybe I have different concerns then you… I wonder what you think of me. We leave the store with Don’t Let Me Be Lonely in your bag.
I think you’re a subtle magician, a beautiful wool coat trying to weather the longest winter, a love dog running toward forgiveness. And forgiveness is yours, like this life is yours, you can do with it what you wish.
Once, there lived a poet called Eli Coppola, who was a Queen of Hearts and Ace of Swords. I did not know her. Her poetry came to me like a raft floating down a river of tears. I’d stumbled into Bluestockings Bookstore on the LES with my best friend the same day her friends gathered to celebrate the publication of her collected work Some Angels Wear Black, to read her words, and honor her passing. The love she had inspired in each person flowed through the room and forever changed the both of us.
There is a poem in her posthumous collection called “Casual Hands, Brutal Stars, Past Things.” In it, the narrator is on a kind of date with Death (perhaps something like Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop…”).
and he recalls each time past / that I called something love / and he questions me about these things / and he wants to know / and he says / you know / darkness comes and goes
and I hold his hand tighter and crying happens / and it’s just crying / and my ribcage rattles / and my throat swells like the bullfrog/ and I feel a savage, unsettling peace
Scorpio, this month, with Venus in your sight, recall each time past that you called something love. Let the meditation be a pomegranate in your hand, tap the sides, use a sharp knife, be precise and be delicate. Each sweet ruby seed has a bitter core, honor the whole. Remember the way you have beheld each lover this generously. Isn’t it time you did the same for yourself?
It took me a long time to understand simple facts about Earth, mainly because I live in the clouds and I went to a very underfunded public school as a child. Like, did you know that the Sun is closest to the Earth in January? That it’s the angle at which the rays hit our planet that determine how much energy/heat comes to us? Here I was walking around the blustery boulevards lamenting o remember when the sun was close? Just as the Sun was nearest!
I’ve been thinking about nearness a great deal lately. How it’s easy to overlook that which sustains us. How Sagittarians are fire despite being so human and so animal. The nights get longer, loved ones gather around the hearth, and there you are keeping the tinder burning.
Sagittarius, this was the year you did everything you could to protect what mattered most. Even if what mattered most moved you father and farther from what felt like your truest self. And, perhaps your journey was lighter. Perhaps in leaving the woman you believed you were behind, you found the woman you were meant to be. More likely, there are parts of you that survived, parts that have been waiting to come back and make a dreamer out of you.
Can you feel her returning to you? The girl you used to believe in, the one with a heart as quick and precise as an arrow? You are her first mark and she’s not gonna miss, so you might as well give her everything she wants.
In someone’s re-occurring dream, you enter the chamber of a dark heart holding a hand over your eye. I can’t see with both eyes, you say, I wake into a throbbing pain, an incurable condition. You are standing, but barely, because you are afraid and your body wants to curl towards its warmest folds. You let it. Someone wants to hold you up or carry you to a soft space. They try but they can’t. Their arms aren’t strong enough, they’re not strong enough, and besides—where would you go? You acknowledge that they tried; you’re generous in your suffering. It’s so cold in the dream, a barren corridor, and someone has to leave you. Someone leaves you over and over in every dream and they are sorry.
If there is a dagger in your witch heart, Capricorn, you can blame the dreamer but you’ve got to pull it out. If there is a wound where the dagger once was, go ahead and dress the wound. This is about learning how to see with whatever eyes you’ve got left. Healer, prophet, someone’s mother. This is about teaching yourself—as if for the first time—how to care for the one who depends on you most—yourself.
Aquarius, somewhere in the parallel universe, there are three women walking along the Atlantic ocean. The worlds these women come from, the ones they left behind so that they might meet, are light-years apart. Of course, they have shared interests, one picks up the perfect skipping stone and the other bounces it along the waters surface.
How can the ocean be so still? They don’t know. They find shells that sea creatures have suctioned onto granite. A whole family lives here, a shell hotel. They try their best to respect creatures they can barely see. In this way, they wind a thread around their hearts, from each to each, and tug each other softly along the shore.
If there is raptor’s nest, they’ve spotted it, thatched atop a defunct lighthouse. If the sun is setting, they have turned their faces to the sun and become gold. If this world is full of too many sorrows, too many small wounds against your soul, remember: there is no kind of love that is impossible. Sometimes, remembering that is the best you can do, and the bravest too.
I remember how terrified I was to get up on the stage. I could barely see the faces in the crowd, shrouded in darkness. A song I had been singing to myself all summer long came on… I’ve been lonely, I’ve been waitin’ for you. I’m pretending and that’s all I can do. The love I’m sendin’ ain’t makin’ it through to your heart… I began to undress for the room, for a girl I was a long time ago. A girl who felt more powerful naked than she ever did with her clothes on.
Then there you were, crawling out from under the stage lights and toward me with money in your mouth. There were two girls following you, but I knew you were the ringleader. You were the one who traded femme desire for femme desire, female gaze so warm it could melt any heart of ice.
Oh Pisces, aren’t you the one whose sweetness is oceans deep, who loves someone once and forever no matter when cities, states, bad words separate you? Don’t you know that refusing to see what others want to offer you is a bad spell? You keep taking deep breaths and hustling survival but wouldn’t it be nice to feel sure of something in this world, wouldn’t it be nice to be fall passionately, to let yourself receive? If there is girl moving toward you with an offering, you should let her.